Sauber: We worked on the balance and made some progress

Both Free Practice sessions for the Brazilian Grand Prix in Interlagos took place in wet conditions. Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez were therefore able to run on the Intermediate and Full Wet tyre compounds. The slicks were not used at all today, as both drivers worked on the set-up of the car. While Gutiérrez was quite happy with his set-up on a track that was new for him, Hülkenberg thinks there is still significant room for improvement.

Nico Hülkenberg: Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):

  • 1st Practice: 10th / 1:26.232 min (17 laps) / 2nd Practice 8th / 1:28.560 min (20 laps)

“It was a strange Friday. It’s difficult because we don’t know how the weather is going to be over the rest of the weekend. If it is wet, as it was today, then the running we did was useful. But if it’s dry then we don’t have much experience. In terms of the running, I’m not too happy with the car today. I think we have quite a bit of work to do regarding the balance in the wet, on both Intermediate and Full Wet tyres. There is room for improvement and I hope we can find some gains in that direction.”

Esteban Gutiérrez: Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056):

  • 1st Practice: 12th / 1: 26.326 min (28 laps) / 2nd Practice 12th / 1:29.049 min (17 laps)

“Obviously it was a very wet Friday, which made it difficult to follow the programme [which] we had planned. However, it was useful to gain experience in the wet. In the morning we ran on the Intermediate tyres, while in the afternoon we ran on the Full Wet tyre compound, so we were able to get a comparison there. Tomorrow we just need to be ready for anything, as we are not sure how the weather will be. We simply need to find the right compromise on the set-up, because it doesn’t look like it’s going to rain on Sunday. Today the balance of the car improved from the morning to the afternoon. It’s my first time driving here, but it was strange because I felt like I already knew the track from choosing it so often on my PlayStation when I was younger. It was a bit slippery today, but I feel comfortable.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “As the forecast predicted, the two practice sessions were wet today giving us some experience on both the Intermediate and the Full Wet tyres. It was not ideal for Esteban who was trying to learn the track. However, he did a good job. We evaluated some mechanical development parts for next year and were still able to complete that programme, which was good. The drivers were not very happy with the balance of the car[s] initially, so we worked on that and made some progress. However, there is still some work to do tomorrow, as the forecast is potentially for more rain.”

Subbed by AJN.